Tahira Syed Dreams

From The Friday Times:

Tahira-saeedTahira Syed is beautiful. She has always been beautiful. Mustafa Khar to Javed Ghamidi and Altaf Gohar to Mark Tully, all were smitten by her. She can sing as well, though most of us have not paid as much attention to that over the years. She has remarkable songs to her credit and many suspect that Pakistan Television (PTV) has used these numbers to successfully seduce at least two generations of viewers. They argue that it would be disingenuous to pretend, given her profession, that her looks haven't played a part in her career success. My father used to say that one way of experiencing the Divine Watchmaker at work on the mathematics of life was to observe Tahira Syed's hand and neck move in tandem. Before my recent trip to Pakistan, my Anglicised son called me excitedly from the TV lounge to announce that he could be persuaded to marry the singer on PTV broadcasting semi-classical songs. No prize for guessing who it was!

For those of us who were children in the 1970s, Tahira Syed was much more than a beauty queen. Along with Imran Khan and Benazir Bhutto, she slowly but surely emerged to become the face of Pakistan. It was perhaps a tribute to her natural beauty that she appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine. Our tears had just about dried following the debacle of 1971. Zulfi Bhutto was running rings round his adversaries and we were starting to have stars in our eyes. When we saw her on PTV, standing tall with her handsome figure, chiseled face and bright eyes, singing '…Hum Sa Hai Tou Samnay Aayay…' we believed we had no equal out there. Life seemed beautiful and we had hope that nothing was out of reach – we could have what we wanted and the future would turn out to be all right. Watching her removed the blinds of fear from our hearts and minds and let us see the big picture – like Helen of Troy, she could launch a thousand ships for us.

More here. (Note: For dear friend Tahira…you are the stuff of dreams…with love)